Since I was a college student (and maybe even before?), my goal was to live & work abroad. The woman who was recruiting for Nestle at my university had just returned from an 8-month assignment in Europe, and I immediately saw an opportunity. She made it clear that she was only recruiting for the role of Retail Sales Representative, but I knew that this was a company with the potential to send me abroad.
It wasn’t easy to figure out how exactly to get here. There were A LOT of conversations with A LOT of people along the way, but 7.5 years after that initial meeting with the Nestle recruiter, I was on an airplane to Switzerland.
Because I didn’t know many people who had worked at the headquarters in Vevey, I didn’t fully understand what this experience would entail. I knew I was coming to work in Switzerland, but I had no idea that the role I was taking would truly be a global one. This job took me to thirteen countries on five continents and allowed me to meet & work with people in nearly every market in the world. It stretched me more than any role I’ve had to date, but I learned an incredible amount about the company, about my function, about other cultures, and about myself.
I’ve been sorting through some photos this week reflecting on the past 2.5 years, and I wanted to share (or in many cases, re-share) some of the Nestle highlights from my time abroad…
[My very first day in Europe with Nestle – September 2013. Roughly six hours after landing, I was with my new team at the Nestle France headquarters in Paris for meetings.]
[On Thanksgiving 2013, I took the train with my boss to Milano to participate in a Digital & eCommerce Day at Nestle Italy.]
[One benefit of work travel to Milano is tasting the world’s best cappuccino.]
[The first time I was identified with a Swiss flag was at a workshop in Paris.]
[Italians are great hosts. They took me to dinner at a brand new restaurant and the best gelateria while I was in town. They also sent me into the center one night to see the Duomo all lit up.]
[In Bogota, Colombia, I was crowned “Colombian Princess” for the evening while out to dinner with some of the Sales leaders.]
[We had a couple of planning meetings at a beautiful chalet in Champery, Switzerland.]
[The UK team coordinated a ride on the London Eye one evening during a workshop for Western European Beverage Sales Leaders.]
[The following week, we had a workshop in Prague, Czech Republic for the Central / Eastern European Beverage Sales Leaders. The team coordinated a dinner cruise on the Vltava.]
[Snow globes were the gifts for the guest speakers at a global customer meeting in Paris.]
[I went dog sledding for the first time during the NESCAFE Marketing Seminar in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.]
[Back in Vevey, our group was all smiles after submitting our case study at the end of the NESCAFE Marketing Seminar.]
[Co-facilitating a training course in Dubai, UAE for participants from Ukraine, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE.]
[Our team went to Villa Panna in Tuscany for team building & planning meetings.]
[One night, we had a cooking competition. My partner and I made tiramisu, and we won the competition!]
[Pausing for a selfie during retail store visits in Mexico City]
[Catching up with a friend from Vevey in the Mexico City office]
[The Mexican team took all of the workshop participants out for Chiles en Nogada (Chiles in Walnut Sauce), which is only available in September each year!]
[Presenting at the Global Sales Conference in Vevey]
[Dinner cruise on Lake Geneva during the Global Sales Conference]
[Guest speakers in the ball pit at Nestle UK Digital Day!]
[Nestle Leadership Programme at Rashleighs in the UK, facilitated by the London Business School.]
[Dinner with the Nestle Morocco Management Committee at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca]
[Co-facilitating a training course in Casablanca for participants from Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria]
[Meetings at the Nestle USA office in Glendale, California include palm trees and sushi]
[And of course, theme lunches at the office in Vevey were always a memorable experience]
Today was my last day in the office, which meant saying “good-bye” to some really wonderful people. The Nestle world is small, so I think it’s likely that our paths will cross again in the future.
As I walked along the lake back to my hotel this evening, I reflected on the experiences of the past 2.5 years, and I thought about how grateful I am for the opportunity to work for such a remarkable organization – one that helped make my dream of living & working abroad come true.